Sunday, 3 July 2022

HALMED: Most Side Effects Not Serious, COVID Vaccine-death Link in Two Cases

ZAGREB, 3 July 2022 - The Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices (HALMED) has published a report on side effects to medicines reported in 2021 which says a majority were not serious and that a link between COVID vaccines and deaths was established in two cases.

In 2021, HALMED received 9,966 reports of side effects of medicines and 6,613 reports of side effects to COVID vaccines.

Last year, 4.7 million vaccine doses were administered. An increase of 337% was registered in reports of side effects made by patients, who reported their suspicions just a little less than doctors.

A majority of the reported side effects to medicines and COVID vaccines were not classified as serious but as expected, mild and passing in a few days.

A link between COVID vaccines and deaths was established in two cases, one involving Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) and the other Jcovden (Janssen).

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Friday, 12 November 2021

Over 50,000 Croats Have Received First Shot Against COVID in Last Three Days

ZAGREB, 12 Nov 2021 - Croatian Health Minister Vili Beroš tweeted on Friday that in the last three days more than 50,000 citizens had received an initial dose of vaccination against coronavirus, and called on vaccine hesitant people to get immunised.

In the last three days, more than 50,000 citizens have received a first dose. They are a part of the society of more than two million citizens who have made their decision on vaccination, based on scientific facts. I call on the hesitant to follow their example, he wrote on his Twitter profile.

He also informed the general public about places where they can get information and advice if they are not sure about vaccination.

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Monday, 8 November 2021

Croatia Logs 1,242 New COVID Cases, 46 Deaths

ZAGREB, 8 Nov, 2021 - Croatia has logged 1,242 new COVID cases in the past 24 hours and 46 people have died as a consequence, the national COVID-19 response team reported on Monday.

There are currently 1,888 hospitalised patients, 246 of whom are on ventilators.

There are currently 29,265 active cases in the country and 24,255 people are self-isolating.

To date, a total of 3,184,660 tests have been conducted, including 3,703 in the past 24 hours.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, a total of 502,569 people have become infected with the novel coronavirus and 9,546 people have died as a consequence while 463,758 people have recovered, including 3,931 in the past 24 hours.

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Monday, 8 November 2021

Association: Resistance to Vaccine Due to Disinformation on Social Networks

ZAGREB, 8 Nov, 2021 - The president of the Croatian Association for the Promotion of Patients' Rights, Jasna Karačić, said there was great resistance to vaccination and distrust of the profession in Croatia due to disinformation on COVID-19 that was spreading on social networks.

Disinformation is spreading on social networks much faster than scientific information is spreading. This is also present in other countries, but in Croatia it is pronounced the most in the entire EU, Karačić told Hina.

She said one should listen to experts, but the problem is also in the way the national COVID-19 crisis management team is communicating, since they do not send accurate messages to the public.

"First they made a mistake when they called on people to get vaccinated, and people thought the vaccine protected 100% so they could stop behaving responsibly," Karačić said.

The government obviously has no control over anti-vaxxers, nor its citizens, who were in a dilemma about vaccination, and gave up, for example, because they did not receive the necessary information even after they had submitted a request over the official website, she said.

There will be increase in chronic and oncological diseases again

The problems of other patients have escalated during the pandemic, they have limited access to health care because many hospitals are denying them regular health care due to COVID patients. In a situation like that, many patients had to go to private doctors, so the private health sector profited from the crisis, Karačić said.

"Other European countries ensured doctor consultations for their chronic patients, and they didn't only devote themselves to COVID patients. That is why last year's problems will happen again now -- there will be an increase in chronic and oncological diseases, so the number of deaths from other diseases, which could have been prevented, will double," Karačić said.

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Sunday, 31 October 2021

Refused Covid Vaccination? It Will be Noted in Croatian Medical Records

October the 31st, 2021 - Croatian medical records are set to hold information on all those who have refused to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, a letter from the Ministry of Health arrived at the addresses of Croatian general practitioners the other day, in which they are determined to organise and schedule work on the vaccination of patients against COVID-19 as the epidemiological picture worsens yet again.

With this decision, healthcare professionals are obliged to invite all their patients over the age of 65 who haven't yet been vaccinated to report to their office within fifteen working days to receive their coronavirus vaccination.

If they fail to make telephone contact with them, the decision stipulates that they are obliged to make home visits within the next thirty days and thus carry out vaccinations, provided that patients agree to this.

What's interesting to note is the instruction for those patients who refuse vaccination... Namely, from now on, healthcare professionals will have to record this in the Croatian medical records of those this regards. General practitioners will have to report all of their activities in this regard in great detail to the competent ministry within seven days of the deadline.

Whether this means that the Health Ministry will henceforth keep a note of the Croatian medical records of all those who refused vaccination and what it will do with that information is not yet known. It's worth mentioning tha this decision has already been met with great resistance from general practitioners, according to a report from RTL.

"After almost two years of living with the pandemic and after almost a year of the vaccines being available and huge sums spent on the campaign and the platform for vaccination, we're surprised by the minister's decision to use the outdated method of calling people individually, it takes up the most time and it's the least effective method of doing this,'' said Natasa Ban Toskic, president of the Coordination of Family Physicians.

"At this moment in time, we can't say what this way of doing things will look like because according to this order issued by the minister, nothing has ben specified. When precisely are we supposed to be able to find the time to engage in this? Do I just need to tell my patients; Dear patients, try not to get sick in the next two weeks because your family doctor will be very difficult for you to reach,'' said Ban Toskic.

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Friday, 29 October 2021

Over 10,000 Receive First COVID Shot in Two Days, Gov't Tweets

ZAGREB, 29 Oct 2021 - The rising interest in vaccination is encouraging as over 10,000 citizens have received the first shot in two days, the government said on Friday, adding that the number of those who have received a booster shot it also rising.

The booster shoot is recommended for everyone who was vaccinated six months ago or more as well as for senior citizens and immunocompromised persons, government spokesman Marko Milić tweeted.

Yesterday 13,292 COVID-19 shots were administered.

To date 56.92% of the entire population, including 56.21% of adults, has received the first shot.

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Friday, 22 October 2021

Five Scientific Council Members Distance Themselves from Statements by Gordan Lauc

ZAGREB, 22 Oct 2021 - Five members of the government's Scientific Council on Friday distanced themselves from all statements made by Council member Gordan Lauc about the coronavirus pandemic, notably his latest messages that the pandemic is over and that only elderly people should get vaccinated. 

"We fully distance ourselves from all statements about the pandemic made by Gordan Lauc since the summer of 2020," says the declaration signed by Andreja Ambriović Ristov, Petra Klepac, Branko Kolarić and academicians Nenad Ban and Igor Rudan.

They in particular distanced themselves from Lauc's messages in which he declared the pandemic over or claimed that there are circumstances in which it is better to get infected. Lauc downplays the effectiveness of the epidemiological measures and the need for their application, recommends vaccination only for persons above a certain age and insinuates a connection between the increased mortality rate in Croatia and vaccination, they said.

"Anyone who says that any one of us could agree with Gordan Lauc's statements about the pandemic is not telling the truth," the signatories said.

The five members of the Scientific Council said that "their views on the pandemic are based on the existing knowledge from relevant professions and constantly evolving scientific knowledge, which often requires changes and adjustments of the COVID-19 response strategy, which then need to be explained to the public."

"That is why a responsible interpretation of scientifically accepted knowledge is essential at any time during the pandemic in order to keep the public properly informed and to protect human lives and maintain the economic activity of Croatian citizens as much as possible," the declaration says.

Speaking in an interview with N1 television of his statement that the existing vaccines poorly protect against COVID-19, Lauc said that vaccination is not a mechanism to stop the spread of the virus, but that the vaccine provides excellent protection against serious forms of the virus. He said that he is a scientist whom the government has asked for an opinion, but that he is not a government employee and need not obey the government.

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Sunday, 5 September 2021

Bishop Tells MPs That Future of Croatia Is Their Responsibility

ZAGREB, 5 Sept, 2021 - A traditional annual pilgrimage organised under the auspice of the Croatian parliament to the Catholic shrine in the town of Ludbreg was held on Sunday, with the Bishop of Zrenjanin, Laszlo Nemet, leading the service that was attended by a few thousand believers.

During the sermon, the bishop said in his message to parliamentary deputies who attended the mass and this votive pilgrimage, that both the present and the future of the country was their responsibility.

In reference to 1739 when plague had spread in the region, which prompted the then Croatian parliament to keep its vow to protect the nation from plague and therefore had a chapel built in Ludbreg and the present-day COVID-19 pandemic, the bishop said that there were also many challenges today such as COVID-19  disease, unemployment, the departure of young people from Croatia. And also there are many positive things, the bishop said, underscoring the positive vibrations among the faithful.

Several thousand pilgrims today flocked the northern town of Ludbreg that houses a unique Eucharistic shrine in Croatia, founded by a papal bull in 1513.

In attendance at today's rites was Deputy Parliament Speaker Željko Reiner, who among other things, called for vaccination of citizens against coronavirus "as the sole rational, efficient and civilisational achievement in the fight against contagious diseases."

He recalled that Pope Francis had also urged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Minister Satisfied With Share of Vaccinated Teaching Staff

ZAGREB, 1 Sept, 2021 - Education and Science Minister Radovan Fuchs said on Wednesday that he was satisfied with the share of teachers vaccinated against coronavirus, and said that their immunisation would continue.

Currently, 57.5% of the teaching staff in primary and secondary schools have been given at least one shot against COVID-19 and in tertiary education this percentage is higher, 64.5%,  the minister said.

He underscored that there was no alternative to vaccination and promised to continue insisting on having as many teachers as possible inoculated.

It is a fact that the unvaccinated get sick on a large scale and that symptoms exhibited by  vaccinated people are considerably milder, he added.

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Friday, 2 July 2021

Croatia Donates 10,000 COVID Vaccines to North Macedonia

ZAGREB, 2 July 2021 - Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman on Friday donated 10,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to North Macedonia, saying that "efficient vaccination is the only way out of the COVID-19 pandemic."

"Efficient vaccination is the only way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, of course, while maintaining the necessary balance between gradually opening borders and people's health," he said in Skopje.

Assistance to North Macedonia is continuing because the Croatian government decided yesterday to donate another 20,000 vaccines, Grlić Radman said.

North Macedonia's Foreign Minister Venko Filipče thanked Croatia for the donation. The additional 20,000 doses will be from AstraZeneca or Moderna, "which would be the first batch of that vaccine" in the country, he said.

Grlić Radman said Croatia would continue to underline "the importance of Southeast Europe for the EU and support EU initiatives for delivering COVID-19 vaccines to countries in Europe's immediate neighbourhood."

"Only through joint effort and a solidarity-based approach will we create the conditions for sustainable social and economic recovery after the pandemic," he said.

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